February 2017
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2 Timothy 4:1-5

Most everyone in our society has easy access to a Bible, yet far too often this book is left unopened. If only people grasped its true worth, they would prize God’s Word above every other possession.

All of Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit. While He used man to pen each line, every thought and word in the Bible originated with God Himself (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Consider how we treasure letters from people we love. Our response to Scripture should be even stronger. The Creator of the universe—the God who holds eternity in His hand—recorded all the truth that is necessary for His children to live fully and joyfully, both before and after death (2 Peter 1:3). God reveals Himself through His Word, which is alive and so powerful that it can transform our lives (Heb. 4:12).

What’s more, Romans 10:17 explains the great importance of our love for the Bible: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Scripture, then, is the very means by which saving faith is possible.

How could such a book become so commonplace in our heart? So taken for granted? It is vital that we realize the preeminence of its author—and Scripture’s potential impact on our life today.

Think about the last time you saw a Bible. What was your reaction? Did you finger the pages with awe, or did you pass it by with barely a glance? Next time you open this precious book, read the words, savor their meaning, and ask God to help you apply its lessons to your life.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 24-27


God Can Use Those Whom The World Rejects by Joseph Prince
1 Corinthians 1:26
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

You may think that you are a nobody, maybe even a has-been or a loser in the eyes of the world. Take heart because God’s Word says that if you are not wise, not mighty or not noble according to the flesh, then you are a prime candidate for Him to call on! And when He begins to use you, you will see His favor, power and increase change your life.

In the eyes of the ancient world, Moses was the rising star of Egypt. The Bible tells us that in the first 40 years of his life, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds”. (Acts 7:22) But God could not use him then because he was too smart, strong and full of himself.

It was only 40 years later, after having been in the unglamorous desert of Midian, emptied of himself and thinking that he was a has-been, that God sent him to confound the might of Pharaoh.

The world may pass them by—the weak, the small, the forgotten and the losers, but God chooses them to confound those mighty in the world.

I know this to be true. As a little boy, I grew up facing rejection and ridicule because of my Indian-Chinese racial mix. And as a teenager, I was the butt of many jokes because of my stammering and stuttering.

When I was in my teens, I remember praying to God, “I don’t know what I can do for or give You, but You got me—spirit, soul and body.” I don’t know how many times I prayed that prayer. But I knew that God heard me because He called me. Only God would dare choose me, a stammerer and stutterer, to pastor a church for Him that has since grown to more than 30,000 members today.

I know what I was and where I came from. I know I have done nothing and can do nothing apart from His anointing and grace in my life.

My friend, when you think that you are weak and small compared to others in the world, that is when God can use you to do great and wonderful things for Him!

Thought For The Day
God chooses the weak, the small, the forgotten and the losers to confound those mighty in the world.


The Pressure of Trials by Jerry Savelle
If you have been under the pressure of a trial, it is important that you do not blame the trial on God. God is not the author of trials or heaviness of spirit. Jesus came to bring you abundant life—it is Satan who is out to kill, to steal and to destroy (John 10:10).

James 1:13 tells us that temptations, tests and trials are brought on by Satan, not God. Satan is the tempter; he is the one who brings condemnation to you. He is the one that brings the heaviness, not God.

God wants you to know that, because Jesus was your substitute, you can endure anything Satan brings against you. If you will follow the instructions in His Word, you will come out on the other side of that trial like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did: untouched, unharmed and totally protected. That is when you bring glory to God – when you are a winner.

God is not glorified when His children are beaten down, beggarly, and suffering. Even though Satan will bring situations to you and try to steal the Word of God out of your heart, you can bring glory to God when you take His Word and resist the devil until he flees (James 4:7).

You are a testimony that God’s Word works. You are more than a conqueror through Him. You bring glory to God because you approach every situation knowing that Jesus was your substitute and that He has already given you the victory.

Confession: Thank you Jesus for abundant life! I refuse to blame God for the trials in my life. I will stand on His Word and see the victory in every area of life!

Author: Jerry Savelle


A New Life by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should
shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light
(1 Peter 2:9).

A literal interpretation of our opening verse would mean that the new creation is one who was called out of darkness into God’s marvellous light, meaning he had a past of darkness. This, however, isn’t true, because the new creation never existed before, and therefore couldn’t have a past. He has a
new life.

The idea of the new creation having a past is mostly common amongst believers who merely see
the Christian as “a sinner saved by grace”; one who was once under the power of Satan, but now free to serve God. However, as you grow in the knowledge of the Word of God, you’ll discover that being born again, you’re not one who was taken from the hands of Satan and delivered into the hands of God; you’re actually a new creation. You’re not the man that was in darkness; that man actually died with Christ. You were born into His marvellous light.

Acts 13:33 tells us something beautiful; it reads, “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” God didn’t say, “Thou art my Son, this day have I raised thee back to life” no; rather, He said, “This day, I have given birth to you (begotten thee).” When Jesus died, He died in the spirit; that’s why He’s called the first begotten from the dead (Revelation 1:5), not the first to be raised from the dead. When He was raised from the dead, He was raised a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature...” You’re a new species—
recreated in Christ Jesus and brought into a newness of life: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Confession
My life is one of glory and excellence, because I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus! I walk in the glory and light of God, having been born into a newness of life. I live in the immeasurable and unlimited grace and mercies of God. Hallelujah!

1-YEAR BIBLE  READING PLAN
Mark 9:1-32
Numbers 6-8

2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN
Matthew 19:1-12
Exodus 10

Further study:
1 John 5:11-12; Colossians 3:9-10


Open Heavens: Sowing in Tears by Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise: 
They that sow in tears shall reap in Joy. Psalm 126:5

Read: Psalm 126:5-6 (King James Version)
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.


Bible in one year: 
Genesis 27,
Isaiah 47:14-48:11,

Hymn: 
Sing hymn 14

Message:
More often than not, we associate sowing with giving of money. For this reason, some people who do not have money believe they do not have anything to sow. This is far from the truth! If you do not have money, you can sow your time or talents into the work of the kingdom. Be it through praying, using your natural talents or your acquired skills/training, there is no one who has nothing to sow. Even if all you can do is smile, you can apply this is making new comers to church feel welcome. If you are a dramatic person, use it for the propagation of the gospel. Everyone has something to sow; all you need to do is to identify what you have. Romans 12:6-8 says,

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, or exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”

When you sow a seed in tears, you will reap its yield in joy. Moreover, what you reap will be determined by what you have sown. You can sow towards the salvation of a loved one, telling God that he or she must not go to hell. To this end, you can sow prayers, fasting and witnessing to the fellow. The day such a soul eventually becomes saved; you will definitely reap the joy of heaven (Luke 15:7).  I cannot forget the wife of one of my friends; I was his best man at their wedding. My friend’s wife would say to me, “Please give your life to Christ and be born again.” But I would tell her “I am already a Christian, and my Christian name is Enoch.” She would reply, “That is not what I am taking about”, and then she would begin to cry. I would look at her and wonder what was wrong with her, saying “I am not the worst fellow around; at least you can ask your husband. He knows I am a good person. “However, she kept on praying and crying, sowing in tears for my salvation. Today, she is now laughing. When last did you sow towards the salvation of a loved one – family or friend?

 Some of us attempt to preach to such a fellow once or twice, but after being rebuffed, we say “I have done my best; if you like, refuse to repent. Your blood can no longer be required from my hands.” Yes, you have made attempts, but you have not yet done your best. You have to keep at it, and in Jesus’ Name, you will reap in joy. Rccg open heavens March 1 2017.


Action Point
The salvation of some people requires great sacrifice. Ask God for the grace to pay the required price of the salvation of all your loved ones.
Open Heaven Daily Devotional, written by Pastor E.A Adeboye,

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.

iOpenHeavens is the electronic version of the Hard Copy. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC. Click HERE to DOWNLOAD Daily Open Heaven Devotional from January to December 2017

07:50
Meditate on Scripture By Billy Graham
How can a young man stay pure? By reading your Word and following its rules.
—Psalm 119:9 (TLB)

Many of the difficulties we experience as Christians can be traced to a lack of Bible study and reading. We should not be content to skim through a chapter merely to satisfy our conscience. Hide the Word of God in your heart! A little portion well digested is of greater value to the soul than a lengthy portion scanned hurriedly. Do not be discouraged because you cannot understand it all. Go on reading. As you read, the Holy Spirit will enlighten the passages for you. Reading the Bible has a purifying effect upon the heart and mind.

Prayer for the day
Let the enlightenment of the riches of Your Word sink deep within my soul, Lord.


Let God Rub Off on You by Gloria Copeland
For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning...to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness].

Romans 8:29, The Amplified Bible

As a believer, you're destined to be molded into the image of Jesus, to grow in spirit until you look just like Him. God's supernatural power began that process the moment you were born again. You were changed on the inside instantly. How successful you are in allowing this change to progress to the outer man is mostly up to you. We grow up spiritually just like we grow up physically.

What can you do to speed this growing process along?

Spend more time pursuing the things of the Spirit than you spend pursuing the things of the flesh. Become dedicated to the Word of God and to fellowship with Him. Be willing to pull aside from the busy things of life and get alone with Him, so He can guide you, teach you and share His likeness with you.

Have you ever noticed that if you spend time around people who have strong personalities, you will automatically be affected by them? You'll find yourself doing the things they do. Their mannerisms will rub off on you. You can't help it. They just influence you, especially if they are people you respect and admire.

The same thing is true in your relationship with God. If you spend enough time with Him, He's going to rub off on you! His ways will become your ways.

So make yourself available to Him by praying in the spirit and worshiping and loving Him. Hang around His Word and the people who love His Word and live it.

Before you know it, you'll begin to notice yourself changing. You'll find your character becoming more like His. You'll begin to think like He does and talk like He does and even act like He does. His image will begin to shine forth in you!

Scripture Reading:
1 Corinthians 3:5-18



You Need Spiritual Food for Spiritual Strength by Rick Warren
“Search for the LORD and his strength. Always seek his presence” (1 Chronicles 16:11 GW).

Just like you need physical food for physical strength, you need spiritual food for spiritual strength. The Bible describes itself as spiritual food — the water, milk, bread, and meat of our spiritual lives. It’s everything you need for sustenance.

If you were a construction contractor, you wouldn’t consider sending out a guy who hadn’t eaten anything in two weeks. If you were a commander in the Army, you wouldn’t send a person into battle who hadn’t eaten in a month. Right? We need to feed ourselves to have the strength to accomplish the tasks ahead of us.

You’re not going to have much success in winning the spiritual battles you face if you’re starving yourself to death. That’s why we need to feed on the Word of God.

Unlike eating physical food, whenever I feed on God’s Word, I get even hungrier. The more I taste and see how good God is, the more I want.

The Bible says in Colossians 3:16a, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly” (NIV). Paul is telling us to let the Bible take up residence in our lives in a rich, profound, and life-giving way.

So how do we feed ourselves on the Word of God and allow that to happen?

Receive the Word with your ears. Commit yourself to go to church and listen to God’s Word being preached.

Read the Word with your eyes. Having a Bible in your house is not going to bless your life. You have to have the Bible in your heart.

Research the Word with your hands and mouth. When studying the Word of God, keep a pencil in your hand. Write down what God teaches. Talk about what you’re discovering with other believers in a small-group environment.

Reflect on the Word with your mind. Think about and chew on God’s Word.
Remember the Word with your heart. You’ll rarely have a Bible with you when you need it. Commit God’s Word to memory.

Talk It Over

What changes do you need to make in your life so that you are spiritually nourished?
Do you write down what God teaches you? What you are memorizing from Scripture?
What spiritual battle are you fighting today? Have you turned to God’s Word for sustenance?


War Room by Pastor Mark Jensen
Prayer...we all know what it is to pray. We pray for our needs, our health, our finances, that new Jeep, and there really is no wrong way to pray, no special words or language needed.

However, there are ways to strengthen your prayer life.

Find a place of quiet and peace to pray in. My wife and I have an extra closet we cleaned out for a "War Room".

Yes, just like in the movie, because my friends, we are at war with the enemy and he is fighting against you and your prayers. Be sure to have a place where you and God can be alone.


Be Patient  by Joyce Meyer
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
—James 1:4

James teaches us that we can rejoice when we find ourselves involved in difficult situations, knowing that God is trying our faith to bring out patience. I have found that trials did eventually bring out patience in me, but first they brought a lot of other junk to the surface—such as pride, anger, rebellion, self-pity, complaining, and many other things. It seems that these ungodly traits, with God’s help, need to be faced and dealt with because they hinder patience as well as other good fruit like kindness, love, humility, and other things.

The Bible talks about purification, sanctification, and sacrifice. These are not popular words; nevertheless, these are things we go through in order to become like Jesus in our character. God’s desire is to make us perfect, lacking in nothing. He wants us to ultimately be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which usually requires us to go through some difficulties that, although are unpleasant, do eventually help us mature.

I struggled with the difficulties in my life for a long time until I finally learned that God would work them out for good and use them to help me in many ways. He simply wants you and me to surrender and say, “I trust You, God. I believe when this difficulty is over, I will be a better person than I was before it began!”

No matter what you are going through, trust God that you are growing closer to Him each day!


The Meek are God’s gentlemen! by John Hagee
Matthew 5:5—Happy are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

The meek are God’s gentlemen!

Happy are the meek.  Does that sound absurd?  In our hardball society, meekness is considered a liability, not an asset.  We’ve all heard the gospel according to Leo Durocher:  Nice guys finish last.

Our society believes the way to inherit is to be mean as a junkyard dog.  We’ve all seen those little plaques that say, “if you love something, let it go; if it does not return to you, hunt it down and kill it,” and “If you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk.”  But when did you last see a plaque that said, “Happy are the meek”?

The Meek Messiah

Remember to whom Jesus is speaking.  At this point, the Jews are living under severe political oppression.  Since 63, they have lived under a series of brutal rulers appointed by Rome.  One of them, Herod the Great, executed one of his ten wives merely on the suspicion of infidelity.

Jesus’ listeners are looking desperately for a messiah who will crush Roman imperialism.

So what happens?  Along comes Jesus of Nazareth, whose teachings and miracles have aroused the entire nation.  Anticipation builds among the people.  Could this be the promised messiah?  They hang on His every word.  He says, “Happy are the meek…”

A man in the crowd throws up his hands and says to his friends, “Can you believe this guy?  Get serious!  You don’t conquer Romans with meekness.  Happy are the meek?  Nonsense!  Might makes right!  Meekness is weakness!”
 
God’s Gentlemen

But meekness is not weakness.  In his commentary on the book of Matthew, Matthew Henry said, “The meek are those who quietly submit themselves before God, to His Word, to His rod, who follow His directions and comply with His designs and are gentle toward men.”

They are not intimidated by loudmouthed mental midgets.  They are cool and calm in adversity.  They have warm hearts, not hot heads.

Our culture has rejected meekness as a principle of happiness.  This reflection of meekness creates a vacuum filled with barbaric behavior.  We don’t want to hear about meekness.  Give us Rambo!

We don’t want to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit whisper, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance” Galatians 5:22-23, KJV.

What then?  Does being meek mean we allow the aggressive to run over us?  Does it mean we stand silent, head bowed, while being verbally abused?  No.  Meekness speaks the truth in love.  It stands its ground calmly and resolute.  We can stand against injustice with anointed fury and still be meek.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World


You Have the Advantage by Joel Osteen

"…His favor is for a lifetime…"
Psalm 30:5, AMP

TODAY'S WORD:
One definition of the word “favor” is an advantage for success. When you put God first, when you obey His commands, you open the door for His favor—you have the advantage for success! Even if someone may have wronged you and it looks like they have the upper hand, even if it looks like things are never going to change, you need to keep reminding yourself, “I have an advantage. God is in control of my destiny.

He’s fighting my battles for me. He is my vindicator, and it’s just a matter of time before things change in my favor.”There’s a scripture in Hebrews that says, “Don’t cast away your confidence.” One translation says, “Payday is coming.” In the difficult times, you have to remind yourself that payday is on its way. God is a faithful God. If you’ll keep doing the right thing, honoring Him and expecting His favor, God has promised He will pay you back. He will restore everything in your life that the enemy has stolen so you can live the abundant life He has in store for you!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, thank You for Your grace, mercy and everlasting favor. I open my heart and mind to You and receive every blessing You have for me. Thank You for favor, the advantage for success, in every area of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.


My Oil of Gladness by Deborah Waldron Fry
Beloved. You are dripping with favor. You are infused with the oil of the Holy Spirit. I have anointed you with My Oil of gladness for your spirit of heaviness.

I pour out to you the Oil of Joy for your mourning. You are Sons and Daughters of Fresh Oil. You are vessels of My Light and you glisten with My Presence.

The Spirit constantly dispenses this Holy Oil to you, Dear One. Even you who feel that your fire has gone out, whose wicks are barely smoldering, I will in no wise pass over you, but I will set you ablaze once again with the fire of My Presence. My Oil of Glory is fresh every day. It is your Manna in the wilderness and it brings new LIFE unto you. It cannot be stored up nor does it come by good works. By Grace you are saved, My Child. The Spirit is a gift from your loving Father when you were born from above.

You have this Treasure in earthen vessels to show that the Power is from God, and not from you. It is My Presence in you. I AM your Source. Let this comfort you, Dear One. Let this Oil soothe your weary soul. Fear not, My Bride. I have crowned your year with My Goodness and My Kindness. My Footsteps have gone ahead of you. Your paths are dripping with prosperity and blessing. See with eyes of faith.

My anointing upon you and in you breaks EVERY yoke. You shall be filled to overflowing. This precious Anointing drips forth from you, My Bride. And as you go forth in this world, you shall leave My Mark of Glory wherever you go and on whomever you touch. For it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.

...Psalm 65:11 You have crowned the year with Your Kindness and Goodness, And Your paths drip with fatness. 12 The pastures of the wilderness drip, And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing
...Zec. 4:14 These are the two anointed ones [lit. “sons of oil”] who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth”

...Acts 10:38 " how God ANOINTED Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."
...2 Corinthians 1:21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and ANOINTED us is God, 22 who also SEALED us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

...Ephesians 1:13-14 "In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were MARKED with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory."

...Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish, till He leads justice to victory. 21In His name the nations will put their hope.
...Zec. 4:6 ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts


Ephesians 5:15-17

When Paul exhorts us to walk wisely, he gives three instructions to help us make godly choices. First, he says to “be careful how you walk” (Eph. 5:15). Because we live in a morally corrupt society, we must be vigilant about the way we think and act. Unless we deliberately choose to guard ourselves, we will simply do what comes naturally and go along with cultural influences.

Next, in verse 16, the apostle instructs us to make the most of our time. The Lord has entrusted each of us with 24 hours per day and various opportunities to participate in His plans for us. But so often we are tempted to squander our time and energy on our own pursuits without a thought of what our heavenly Father may have in mind for us.

In verse 17, Paul lays out the final exhortation: to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17) In its broadest sense, God’s will for us is that we would each become the person that He created us to be and do the work He has planned for us to accomplish (Eph. 2:10). Knowing this, we should look at every decision with consideration of whether our choice will further or hinder our heavenly Father’s purposes for our life. To live thoughtlessly outside of His will is foolish.

The Lord wants us to walk wisely so that we can enjoy all of the marvelous benefits that He’s promised in His Word and longs to give us. Wasted opportunities and time misspent can never be reclaimed. Let’s commit to make each and every day count for Jesus Christ instead of merely living for ourselves.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 21-23


Surely! by Joseph Prince
Isaiah 53:4
Surely He has borne our griefs [sicknesses] and carried our sorrows [pains]…

While waiting for the manifestation of their healing, some people find it hard to believe that Jesus really took their sicknesses and pains, just as He took their sin and shame. If you are one of them, don’t feel condemned. Your Father in heaven understands. That is why He put the word “surely” there when He said, “Surely, My Son has borne your sicknesses and carried your pains.”

Once, my daughter Jessica was crying all night because she was not feeling well. She had been sick for a few days. In my study, I took out my Bible and the Lord led me to Isaiah 53:4 where it says, “Surely He has borne…” Now, I know the original Hebrew here and it says, “Surely He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.” So I said, “Surely, He has borne Jessica’s sickness…”

But it was like the verse was just not real to me. Her cries seemed more real. Then, all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to a word in the verse that really revolutionized the way I saw the whole passage.

Notice the first word in the verse? It says, “Surely…” Surely, He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. Now, look at the next verse: “He was wounded for our transgressions...” Every Christian knows and believes that Jesus was wounded for our sins, yet the word “surely” is not put here but in the earlier verse. I think God knew that we would find it hard to believe that Jesus also bore our sicknesses and carried our pains, so He put the word “surely” there to help us believe!

When I saw that, I put my Bible on the floor, stood on it and said, “Father, you know I don’t mean any irreverence, but I am standing on Your Word. Surely, Jesus bore Jessica’s sickness and carried her pain! I don’t care if I can still hear her crying. Surely, Your Son, Your beloved Son, bore her sickness and carried her pain! Hallelujah!” That night, the breakthrough came. That night, little Jessica was healed.

Are you or your loved ones suffering some sickness or pain right now?

Surely our Lord Jesus has borne your sicknesses and carried your pains. And as you believe this truth, surely, your healing and breakthrough will come!

Thought For The Day
Surely our Lord Jesus has borne your sicknesses and carried your pains.



The Central Truth by Jerry Savelle
The substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus is the central truth of the Bible. Everything else you read in the Bible must line up with that central truth.

The moment you read something in the Word that looks as though God brings trouble against His children, you need to go back to that central truth. If it doesn’t line up with the central truth, then you should simply ask the Holy Spirit for revelation.

There were times when I would run across a situation in the Old Testament and I would say, “Wait a minute! That contradicts everything that I have learned about God.” I said, “Now God, You told me that You were not the one who did that, but right here is says plainly, The Lord shall smite thee.” That was when I went back to the central truth. The central truth is: Jesus was smitten (bruised) on my behalf. Jesus bore those things for me.

The Bible says in Isaiah 53 that He bore our grief and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions and was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.

That is the central truth upon which you can base everything in the Word. If it was the will of God that Jesus be bruised, then it can never be the will of God that you be bruised. If it is God’s will that you be bruised, then Jesus was bruised in vain. If Jesus was bruised in vain, then the substitutionary sacrifice did not work, then Romans 10:9-10 has no power. If Romans 10:9-10 has no power, then you and I are still lost.

Jesus was our substitute. We can base everything around that truth. Because of what Jesus did at Calvary, God has provided us with everything we need to take the victory every time.

Confession: I believe Jesus paid the price for all sin, sickness, disease, distress, and destruction. I will live in freedom and victory knowing that His sacrifice on the Cross was enough.

Author: Jerry Savelle


Light In A Dark World by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world(Philippians 2:14-15).

You’re the light of the world; you’re a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14); meaning that you’re the solution to the darkness in the world. The Bible says, “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people...” (Isaiah 60:2). The gross darkness in the world is a sign that it’s your time to arise, shine and light up your world. Romans 8:19 says, “For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” The world is waiting for you to manifest the glory of God, to free it from the decay and corrupting influences of Satan.

Psalm 74:20 says the dark places of the earth are filled with the habitations of cruelty. That’s talking about spiritual darkness and wickedness that’s prevalent in today’s world. But when you show up, the darkness and cruelty are dispelled. When you come into the world of the unsaved, bearing the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, salvationcomes to them.

Your light gives meaning, direction and beauty to your world. You’re the light in a dark world. Jesus said, “...As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). He came to give our lives a meaning and then sent us as lights to bring glory, excellence and meaning to the lives of those
around us.

This is your ministry. This is your life. 1 Peter 2:9 AMP declares, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

PRAYER
Dear Father, I fulfil my calling, ministry and responsibility as the light of the world by expressing
your righteousness, and impacting my world with the Gospel of your grace. I give meaning, direction, beauty, glory, and excellence to the lives of men in my world, turning them from the power of Satan unto you, and from darkness into light,
in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Mark 8:27-38
Numbers 5

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Matthew 18:
21-35
Exodus 9

FURTHER STUDY:
Isaiah 60:1-3
Matthew 5:14-16


Open Heavens: Impediments to Prayer by Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise:
 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: Psalm 66:18

Read: Isaiah 59:1-4 (King James Version)
  1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

Bible in one year: 
Genesis 25-26,
Isaiah 47:1-13,

Hymn: 
Sing hymn 6

Message:
The fact that God answers prayers is without doubt. Anytime you call on Him, as long as it is in the Name of Jesus, you can be sure the answer will come. Jesus in John 14:14 said,

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

To God, answering prayers is a question of keeping His word. He said if you call upon Him when you are in trouble, He will deliver you, and He is bound by His word (Psalm 50:15, Hebrews 6:18). There was once a contest between the prophet of God, Elijah, and 450 prophets of an idol called Baal (1st Kings 18:19-24). Each side was to call on their God or god; the goal was to see which side would receive a response by fire. The prophets of Baal called on their god from morning till afternoon, but there was no answer. The moment the man of God called on the Lord, fire fell from heaven. God is still in the business of answering prayers, but are you still in the business of obeying Him? Be assured that God is still in the business of stilling raging storms. If you remove iniquity from your heart, you will call on Him and He will answer and deliver you.

As much as God desires to answer your prayers, if you still enjoy a life of sin, your prayers cannot be answered. We must make conscious efforts to remove all impediments to our prayers. Such impediments include what the Bible describes as “the sin which doth so easily beset us” (Hebrews 12:1). The pleasures of the flesh run against God’s expectations (Galatians 5:17). Such pleasures will not allow us to receive answers to our prayers. We must be weary of gossip because there is great danger in every idle word we speak (Matthew 12:36). Jesting should also be avoided (Ephesians 5:4). Jesting refers to unholy jokes. God is not against laughter and humour as some people wrongly believe.

 He is pleasantly humorous, but we must keep ourselves from unhealthy jokes that hinder holy living or make fun of the Holy Spirit. The Lord is not just looking for those who are calling on Him for miracles and signs; He is searching for those who will lift up holy hands and a pure heart before Him (Psalm 24:3-5). He is looking for those who are ready and committed to walking in His footsteps. God is holy, and He has called us to holy living. We are to do as He commands because we are light of the world. God in Heaven is glorified when our light shines in the midst of the darkness of this world. If you don’t want any impediment of your prayers from now on, you must amend your ways. If you have been stealing, repent and steal no more. If you have been involved in questionable transactions and dealings, you have to repent and forsake such ways. Rccg devotional 2017. If your life is right with God, your prayers will not be hindered.

Action Point
Confess every pleasure of the flesh you have yield to, asking for grace to live above them.
Open Heaven Daily Devotional, written by Pastor E.A Adeboye,

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.

iOpenHeavens is the electronic version of the Hard Copy. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC. Click HERE to DOWNLOAD Daily Open Heavens Devotional from January to December 2017



He Gives Us Life Eternal By Billy Graham

These things have I written unto you that believe . . . that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . .
—1 John 5:13

Recently I read that it will cost this country a hundred billion dollars to get one man safely to Mars. It cost God the priceless blood of His only Son to get us sinners to heaven. By tasting death for every man, Jesus took over our penalty as He erased our guilt. Now God can forgive. In a moment of thanksgiving, Paul once exclaimed, “He loved me and gave Himself for me!” Will you repeat these words right now, even as you read? If you do, I believe you will have cause to be thankful too, and that you will experience the love of God in your heart. Try it and see. The Bible teaches that you can be absolutely sure that you are saved.

Prayer for the day
Father, although my finite mind cannot understand all the wonders of the Gospel, I thank You for the assurance of my salvation through Christ.


He Will Lead You by Gloria Copeland
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

Walking in the spirit. That's the key to overcoming the flesh. If you follow the prompting of the Spirit of God within you, you won't be dominated by the pressure your flesh tries to put on you.

As you listen to the written Word and the Holy Spirit telling you what to do, you'll constantly be making little adjustments in your life according to what He says. And those little adjustments will keep darkness from overtaking you.

You see, God knows just what you need. He can look ahead in your life and see the traps and pressures the devil is laying for you. So follow the Holy Spirit's leading and He will maneuver you safely around them to victory.

Scripture Reading:
1 Corinthians 10:1-14

Build Your Life on a Solid Foundation: God’s Word by Rick Warren
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24 NIV).

The foundation of a house tells you how big the house can get. You can’t put a big house on a small or faulty foundation. It’ll collapse every time.

The same is true for our lives. You can’t become what God wants you to be on a faulty foundation. We’re given a lot of different options for what will be the foundation of our lives:

Popular culture. Some people think they’ll simply do what every other person is doing. If it’s popular, that’s what they do, too. Yet what’s popular today won’t be popular tomorrow. Basing your life on popular culture is like building a house on a constantly moving foundation. It doesn’t work!
Tradition. Other people build their lives on what has always been done or how their parents did it. That does make a little sense. Tradition becomes tradition because it works. But no tradition lasts forever. It eventually wears out, becomes obsolete, and is invalid. In Mark 7:8 Jesus tells the Pharisees never to put tradition before truth. It’s a good reminder for all of us.

Reason. God gave us the ability to reason; we need to use it. But our reason isn’t infallible. Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that appears to be right,but in the end it leads to death” (NIV). The smartest among us will falter at times; it’s to be expected. Only God can be trusted all the time.
Emotions. Some build their lives on a feeling. If it feels right, they do it. But feelings lie — they lie all the time! You lie to yourself more than anyone else. If you live by your feelings, you’ll spend your life manipulated by your moods.

If it doesn’t work to build your life on popular culture, tradition, reason, or emotion, what should you build your life upon? God’s Word.

Jesus says this in Matthew 7:24: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (NIV).

Popular culture changes, traditions grow stale, reason can be faulty, and emotions lie. Yet God’s Word never changes.

You may not always understand his Word. You may not always like it. It won’t always be politically correct.

But it’s the only thing stable enough to build our lives upon.

Talk It Over

On what have you built the foundation of your life? How is it holding up?
What distractions in your life keep you from fully building your foundation on God’s Word?
Why is it difficult sometimes to put God’s truth before tradition?


The Strength From The Lord by Pastor Mark Jensen
Good morning friends and family of God Honor Strength, welcome to the beginning of a new week, a week where God wants to answer prayers and fulfill dreams for each of us. I hope each of you had an amazing and blessed weekend, and were able to spend time with family and friends, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This morning I was thinking about all I had to accomplish today, but the rest of this week as well. We all tend to lead very busy lives, some more than others, but busy none the less. For myself, every morning starts at 4:00 am with prayer and bible and meditation times, except for Saturday's and Sunday's I get to sleep in sometimes until 5:00 am. Monday through Friday I work a full time job to pay the bills, keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Actually, I can't take credit for that, that is all blessings from God. Everyday I also write and post on this ministry, Saturdays and Sundays included for the most part.

Then there is church every Sunday and Wednesday night and now it might look like Friday nights as well. I also volunteer as a Crisis Chaplain for the Crisis Chaplaincy of Texas, working alongside the Harris County Sheriffs Office, doing ride alongs, attending services and events and being available whenever needed. Now, I am not mentioning all this to get kudos or affirmations, because I love every minute of everyday that I am allowed to work for our Father in a Heaven. The reason I mentioned all this was to show you that no matter how busy our lives may get, no matter how weary we may get, God will give us the strength we need to carry on.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:28-29

I have no doubt that each of you within the sound of my voice or that are reading this online lead just as busy of lives, maybe not in the same areas or ways as the next person, but busy none the less. Between work, school, family, kids, church, social engagements, volunteering. Yes, we all live busy and at times hectic lives, but we cannot forget to do the good works that God asks of each of us. You see, in a way, God asks each of us to share with others his words, to share your faith and your hope and his love for you with all that you meet. God has been very clear in His Word that He wants each and everyone us to go forth and spread the Word. As Christians, part of our duty, our obligation, is to try to reach as many people as possible in sharing the word of God.

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
Mark 16:15

In this passage, Jesus is talking to His disciples, but we have to keep in mind, as Christians, as believers, these words are just as important to each of us. He instructs them to go forth, sharing the Word of God and leading them to their Father in Heaven. We are all children of God, we are all believers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so why are not we all his disciples in spreading the word of God.

“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
Psalm 96:3

This psalm is part of a hymn lifting up the Lord and praising Him for all that he has done. Much like each of us are are eager to tell our family, our friends, our coworkers when we are in love, the same should be true of God. We are so filled with love for Him and the blessings of the Spirit that we cannot keep silent. We each have the ability to spread the word of God to all we meet.

We each have the capability of sharing the love of God to those who may not know it and each and everyone of us has the power of the Holy Spirit within us so that we may find the lost, lift the fallen and heal the broken by allowing them to see that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, lives within us and brings us peace and hope and joy and the promise of everlasting life in Heaven.

As I speak a blessing over each of you, always remember, I am here for you if you ever need to talk or get something off your chest or if you need prayer for yourselves, your family or your friends. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Dear Father God, thank you for blessing us with this day and loving us as Your children. Watch over each and every one of us as we start each day, as we go through this week, keeping us in the palm of Your hand. Guide us in our daily lives, directing us on the path You have planned for us, bringing forth the dreams you have planted in each of our hearts. For we know who we are and whose we are, children of the most high God. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

"Keep your Faith strong, your Hope alive and your Prayers never ending."
God Bless
Pastor Mark


Fellowship with the Lord  by Joyce Meyer
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
—Jeremiah 29:13

No matter how many principles and formulas you and I learn, we will never have lasting victory in our Christian life without spending time in personal, private fellowship with the Lord. The victory is not in methods; it is in God. If we are to live victoriously, we are going to have to look beyond ways to eliminate our problems and find the Lord in the midst of our problems.

The good news is that when we set aside time with God, He meets with us. We can be grateful, knowing that when we seek Him, we will find Him. God has a personalized plan for each of us, a plan that will lead us to victory. That is why principles, formulas, and methods are not the ultimate answer, because they do not allow for the individual differences in people. As good as all these things may be as general guidelines, they are not substitutes for personal fellowship with the Living God.

Prayer of Thanks: Thank You, Father, that I can meet with You at any time of the day or night. You’re always here for me and You desire to spend time with me. Your Word says that when I seek You, I will find You. So help me, Lord, to find You in every part of my life today.



Enter His Rest by Joel Osteen

"For we who have believed do enter that rest…"
Hebrews 4:3, NKJV

God promises that there are set times in our future, but He doesn’t tell us when they will be. Your set time may be tomorrow morning at 9:47. You’ll get the phone call you’ve been waiting for. Your set time may be two years from now. You’ll get a good break and that will thrust you to a new level. My question is, “Do you trust God enough to believe that your set times are coming?” Are you willing to wait with a good attitude? Are you willing to get a new perspective?

Remember, that set time is already in your future. Don’t let the negative thoughts talk you out of it. The way you know that you’re really believing is that you have rest on the inside. You’re at peace. You know the answer is on the way. You trust that God is working things out. Today put your faith and trust in Him and enter into rest. Know that He is good, and He is for you! Your set time of favor is on the way!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, today I choose to enter into rest. I choose to trust You. I choose to put my faith and hope in You knowing that You are good and that You have good things in store for my future in Jesus’ name! Amen.



Run The Race by John Hagee
Job 23:10—But he knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
                           
If we endure to the end and run the race that is set before us with patience, our tears will turn to joy and our sorrow into singing!

As a pastor, I know there are times when no words in human speech can remove the pain from the brokenhearted.  Many of those times occur when a tragedy has befallen someone for no apparent reason.

Where is God when it hurts?  Sometimes it seems He is silent just when we need Him the most.  Why do suffering and pain afflict good people?  In my opinion, there are three basic reasons:

See yesterday’s devotional for reason #2

3.  God’s Sovereignty.  Because of the sovereign, longrange purposes of God, there are times when things happen over which we have no control and about which we have no knowledge.  We pound on heaven’s gates, asking, “Why is this happening?”  And in response we hear only the deafening sound of eternal silence.

When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt, it seemed the darkest day of his life.  He couldn’t possibly have understood at that moment the longrange purposes of God in his life, or comprehended how the hand of God was directing every agonizing step.

When our hearts are breaking and our eyes are blinded with tears, it’s hard to see the sovereign hand of God guiding our every step.  We suffer until the purposes of God become apparent to us, which may not happen for many years and may not be at all in this life.

But if we endure to the end and run the race that is set before us with patience, our tears will turn to joy and our sorrow into singing.  We who mourn will be comforted. God guarantees it.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World


Proverbs 9:7-12

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). Initially, the connection between these two concepts may be difficult to grasp. How can fearing God make us wise?

First, we need to understand what it means to fear the Lord. This term is used to describe an awesome reverence for God that moves us to acknowledge Him as the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, submit to His will, and walk in obedience. The result of such a response will be the acquisition of wisdom.

If we commit ourselves to living for God’s purposes rather than our own, we will gain greater understanding of Him. The Holy Spirit will enable us to see circumstances and people from His divine perspective. This kind of wisdom reaches beyond human perception and gives us discernment to make decisions that fit into the Lord’s plans for our life. Knowing that He always works for our best interests, we are empowered to walk confidently through both good and bad times.

But if we reject God’s instructions, we dishonor Him with our refusal to acknowledge His right to rule our life. It’s foolish to rebel against His authority and think we can ever win. Those who won’t fear God will never know real wisdom.

What is your attitude toward the Lord? If you truly revere Him, you will listen for His directions and heed His warnings. A desire to honor and please Him will motivate you to turn from evil and seek to live in obedience. The result will be wisdom beyond human understanding.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 18-20


Arinola O. Yinka

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